HOUSTON -- Clayton Kershaw starting and the Dodgers score 12 runs. What could go wrong?OK, plenty, but Sunday night's epic 13-12, 10-inning loss to the Astros in Game 5 counts as only one "L" in the best-of-seven World Series, even if it does put the Dodgers only one loss away
HOUSTON -- Clayton Kershaw starting and the Dodgers score 12 runs. What could go wrong?
OK, plenty, but Sunday night's epic 13-12, 10-inning loss to the Astros in Game 5 counts as only one "L" in the best-of-seven World Series, even if it does put the Dodgers only one loss away from elimination after a 29-year wait.
That said, because they bested the Astros for home-field advantage with the best record in baseball, the Dodgers take the Series back to Dodger Stadium (where they played an MLB-best .704 ball), and Yasiel Puig has a prediction.
• Dress for the World Series: Get Dodgers postseason gear
:: World Series presented by YouTube TV: Schedule and coverage ::
"My team, this is not going to be finished Tuesday. There's going to be a Game 7," said Puig, whose two-run homer helped the Dodgers send this wild one into extra innings with a three-run ninth. "All the fans in Los Angeles from the first day of Spring Training, and the team, do a lot of workouts and preparation, and this is the reason my team is in the World Series right now. And I want to say thank you to the fans for supporting my team on Tuesday, and there's going to be a Game 7."
Since 1985, teams trailing 3-2 in any best-of-seven series (LCS and World Series) and heading home for Games 6-7 have come back to win 14 of 28 times. When those teams win Game 6 at home, they have gone 14-2 in Game 7. So Job No. 1 is finding a way to beat Houston's Justin Verlander in Game 6.
"I don't think the team across the way is just going to concede Game 6 or Game 7," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch.
The Dodgers veered completely off course in this game. Kershaw couldn't protect a 4-0 lead, serving up a three-run homer to Yuli Gurriel, then a bullpen suddenly on fumes blew leads of three runs and one run. Previously untouchable Kenta Maeda was torched for a three-run homer by Jose Altuve, and setup weapon Brandon Morrow looked like someone who had pitched in every Series game (which he has) by allowing a pair of homers and four runs on six pitches.
Then, after the dramatic three-run rally in the ninth -- capped by Chris Taylor's RBI single -- Kenley Jansen gave up a two-out RBI single to Alex Bregman, who homered off him in Game 4.
Jansen was one of many who took the same tone as Puig in Los Angeles' clubhouse.
"They're celebrating now, 3-2, but guess what? They've still got to beat us one more time," said Jansen, who was unbeaten in the regular season but already has suffered a blown save and a loss in the World Series. "The fact that we're going home, we've got to continue to grind. This is it, can't hang our heads.
"We're going home. I don't care who we're going to face, we've got to stay positive. Can't let a bad day affect us. They did what they're supposed to do, they took care of their home field -- we took one, and now we've got to protect it and try to win Game 6 and get back into it. They've still got to close it out in our place. A lot of guys, we were down before against the Nats [in last year's NL Division Series] and came back to win. This is not a time for us to hang our heads or worry about what happened. It happened. Time to look forward to Tuesday."
The Dodgers' offense totally went off against Houston ace Dallas Keuchel, who was knocked out in the fourth inning, and Cody Bellinger continued his revival with a three-run blast off Collin McHugh in the fifth for a 7-4 lead that lasted only until Altuve's homer to center field.
"Everybody did as much as they possibly could to pick me up," said Kershaw, who added that he's ready for relief duty if called upon. "I'm sure everybody's pretty exhausted, emotionally and physically. It was a tough one. But you know what? We've still got a chance at this thing. We're going to go home and get ready to go."
Los Angeles took a one-run lead in the seventh, when Houston center fielder George Springer misplayed Bellinger's sinking liner into an RBI triple. Corey Seager doubled home Joc Pederson in the eighth, and the Dodgers tied it in the ninth off Chris Devenski.
"Everyone in this clubhouse knows we're not going down easy, and the guys in the other clubhouse know we're not going away," said Justin Turner.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.